Police who are in their third day of searching for Whitby, Ont., high school teacher Jeffrey Boucher are concerned about falling temperatures as teams scour wooded areas to find the man who went missing after going for a run.
Boucher, a 52-year-old father of two who works at Bowmanville High School, is an avid runner who has gone on early-morning jogs before work almost every day for 20 years.
His wife, Kristen, awoke Monday to find her husband hadn't returned from his run, and she now fears for his safety.
"He's been a good husband, he's a good father," she told CBC News. "He cares for everybody. We do a lot of things together."
Boucher left behind his wallet and cellphone, and his car is still in the garage.
"Could this be a midlife crisis of some kind, where something bothered him at work, and he just wants to run away? I don't know," his wife said.
Police, who do not suspect foul play, are searching wooded areas near the family home on Gilchrist Court, near Brock Street and Taunton Road.
Police are using a helicopter, all-terrain vehicles and a K-9 unit to carry out the search.
Members of the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT) joined the search Tuesday and are concentrating their efforts on the Heber Downs Conservation Area in Whitby, which is located about 50 kilometres east of Toronto.
Boucher ran about 10 kilometres most mornings but typically varied his route, using trails that ran through wooded areas near his house. That leaves police with a 10- to 15-kilometre search radius.
Police had new information about the search Tuesday.
"Let's hope he was wearing layers and lets hope it's sufficient enough to be able to survive the cold," said Sgt. Nancy Van Rooy.
"It's a hazardous situation with this snow and ice, and we are fearful he may have tripped and fallen and is in a wooded ravine area," said Durham Regional Police Insp. David Brown.
Because he owned multiple sets of running gear, police do not know exactly what Boucher was wearing when he left for his run, and are concerned he may not be dressed to be out in the cold for hours. Daytime temperatures have been above freezing since Boucher went missing, but overnight lows are forecast to hit the –8 C range with daytime highs of –1 C.
Boucher is described as:
- Six feet tall.
- 180 pounds.
- Has short grey-and-white hair.
Durham police are asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 1-888-579-1520.
Police are also asking people in the Whitby area to check their properties.
His daughter, Bettina, said the family is hopeful that Boucher will return home unharmed.
"We're doing the best we can, trying to stay positive basically," she told CBC News. She said her father ran every morning for the past 20 years. "It's just weird that yesterday is the day something happens," she said.
Police say there are lots of trails in the area that Jeffrey Boucher would run on... heavily covered Heber Downs Cons Area yesterday #cbcto— Linda Ward (@LindaWardCBC) January 15, 2014